North Atlantic Books, Berkely, California, 2010. Hardcover. 705 pages. Second Edition, revised and expanded edition. Signed by the author by way of air-fixed bookplate. The definitive biography of the founder of modern magick. Fine in Fine mylar protected dust-jacket.
The name “Aleister Crowley” instantly conjures visions of diabolic ceremonies and orgiastic indulgences–and while the sardonic Crowley would perhaps be the last to challenge such a view, he was also much more than “the Beast,” as this authoritative biography shows. Perdurabo (the magical name Crowley chose when inducted into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) traces Crowley’s remarkable journey from his birth as the only son of a wealthy lay preacher to his death in a boarding house as the world’s foremost authority on magick. Along the way, he rebels against his conservative religious upbringing; befriends famous artists, writers, and philosophers (and becomes a poet himself ); is attacked for his practice of “the black arts”; and teaches that science and magick can work together. While seeking to spread his infamous philosophy of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” Crowley becomes one of the most notorious figures of his day. Based on Richard Kaczynski’s twenty years of research, and including previously unpublished biographical details, Perdurabo paints a memorable portrait of the man who inspired the counterculture and influenced generations of artists, punks, wiccans, and other denizens of the demimonde.
Richard Kaczynski, Ph.D., is the author of The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley, editor/annotator of a forthcoming edition of Crowley’s Sword of Song, and co-editor with Hymenaeus Beta of The Revival of Magick and Other Essays. He has been a student of the Western hermetic tradition since 1978, and has lectured internationally on these topics since 1990. His writing has appeared in numerous magazines (High Times, The Magical Link, Neshamah, Cheth, Mezlim, Eidolon, Different Worlds) and books (Concordance to the Holy Books of Thelema, The Golden Dawn Sourcebook, Rebels and Devils, People of the Earth). A research scientist and statistician with the VA Northeast Program Evaluation Center, Kaczynski is also affiliated with Yale University’s School of Medicine (Department of Psychiatry). He lives in Ellicott City, MD.